Inflammation, redness, and painful swelling of the gums are unfortunate complaints among the general public. Gingivitis — the name for this inflammation of the gums — is most often caused by teeth and gums that are not cleaned thoroughly. The bad bacteria get out of control and cause pain. One might experience just a little bleeding or sensitivity when flossing, or a mouth so swollen it becomes too painful to eat. It is a vicious cycle: a small infection produces pain, which begets difficulty to clean, which begets more infection, which begets more pain…

Yes, it is definitely something you want to avoid. If you have frequent “sore spots,” you may need to reevaluate how effective your at-home cleaning routine is. It is good to pay attention to how your gums are doing every day and to be very thorough about cleaning them out, even if it hurts a little. It is better to deal with a little pain now than unbearable pain in the future.

Sometimes, though, regular hygiene at home isn’t enough. In most cases, if gingivitis has developed into a more serious problem, patients on their own can heal from diligent care at home using an irrigator. Daily irrigation gently keeps the gums cleaned out and restores the proper environment for healing. Patients who suffer from mild to severe gum disease report that their gums gradually heal, shrink up against the teeth, return to a normal pink color, and are able to function normally again because the inflammation is greatly reduced. Not to mention, the need for chemicals and drugs is greatly reduced, if not eliminated. Oral irrigation is highly recommended for healing infections, particularly early gum disease or any inflammation around the teeth.

Whether or not you are prone to gum disease, if you do not have an oral irrigator, we recommend you look into investing in one. Not only will your teeth be so much healthier and low-maintenance, but you will save headaches and money for dental expenses in the long run.

Dr. Sperbeck, West Los Angeles

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